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September 29, 2005

MOJ, please talk about gay priests

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:58 pm

Since the news reports a week ago that the Vatican is about to ban

new gay priests, whether or not they remain celibate (see our prior

post), I’ve been hoping the thoughtful contributors at Mirror of Justice

would discuss the topic.  So far, there has only been one MOJ post,

which quotes at length from a column written by a gay and celibate

American priest, but offers no commentary.


maleSym Two days ago, a self-proclaimed “serious Catholic” sent me a link   maleSym 

to this article from a website called Spirit Daily, which was apparently written

by its editor Michael H. Brown — “If the Church Gets Tough — Very Tough —

with DEVIANCE, Pope Will Make His Mark.”   The sender declared that

“it is an excellent article, written with honesty and a clear understanding of

the Church’s teachings.” 


The message of the article is, to my mind, quite remarkable and sad.  After

declaring that homosexuality is a “deviance,” caused by “demonic” forces, 

the article states 

“the truth is that those who are homosexual grapple with a

disorder that requires deliverance. It is a spiritual issue. And

while they struggle with that disorder they do not belong in a

position of any spiritual authority.” 

After recommending a purge of homosexuality from the clergy, it concludes:

“We must purify the Church at all costs. Nothing else will work. A gay should

not become a priest. He should seek out a good priest for help and deliverance.”


To me, this message is hateful and not the least bit “Christlike.”   Jesus, who 

loved sinners, surely loved non-sinners who merely had tendencies — biological

urges and preferences apparently given to them by their Creator.


As a Catholic grammar school pupil, I was taught by nuns and priests that any

sin of a sexual nature — including  “impure thoughts” not immediately purged

from our minds — was a mortal sin (leading to eternal damnation if not confessed

before death).   I guess the Vatican believes that gays can never win the fight

against such impurity, and that merely abstaining from acting on the impulses

is not enough.   I would hope that this kind of thinking is quite worrisome to the 

thinking Catholic, even those who pledge their obedience to their Pope.

one third gray  It’s estimated that perhaps as many as 30% of

priests are gay.   For generations (centuries?), an adolescent

male’s lack of normal teenage interest in girls was seen by his

Catholic family and clergy as a sign that he might have a

“vocation” from God to enter the priesthood.  Ironic, huh?

As a former Catholic, I know my perspective may not be clear or objective

enough.  That’s why I hope to hear from practicing, serious Catholics on

this subject.  Help me understand.  Better yet, help your Pope avoid the

turning of an ancient form of fear and discrimination into a policy that should

have no place in the Church that claims to speak for Christ on earth.






risking a cartwheel

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:59 pm

leaves drift

into the gorge

I pick one to follow






autumn wind —

trying to keep myself

under my hat






soft earth

I might risk

a cartwheel




  • by dagosan                                               


autumn crosswalk          stop traffic

leaves and a garbage can

hurry past


[Sept. 29, 2005]




tiny check  Eugene Volokh had a very good post yesterday on whether it is

“inconsistent” for Federalists to look to the federal government for solutions

on particular topics.  He distinguishes between federalism (which says that

the central government has the authority to act in certain situations, and the

states in others) and localism (which wants all issues settled at the local level),

and notes:

“One can certainly argue that federalists are mistaken about where

the line should be drawn, or even inconsistent in drawing that line.

But one needs to do that by concretely explaining why the line should

be drawn in a particular place, or why two things must in any event be

on the same side of the line — one can’t just point to the federalist’s

supporting national solutions in some situations and state solutions

in others and say “Aha! Inconsistency!” Federalism is all about supporting

national solutions in some situations and state solutions in others. More

broadly, I suspect that good judgment, left, right, center, or libertarian is

all about supporting national solutions in some situations and state

solutions in others.

Prof. V also observes that “we need to be careful in allegations of inconsistency

(and especially of hypocrisy). Often the inconsistency is more illusory than real,

or at least demonstrating it requires a lot more argument than critics actually provide.”

(via Bainbridge) Personally, I don’t know what’s more disturbing: that so many people

are willing to brand opponents as inconsistent because they truly cannot think

through these issues, or that so many people know better but are willing to make the

charges simply to gain political advantage.

                                                                                                                                       “traffic cop SF”

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